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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Roundup

On Thursday, Apple (AAPL) held its second product release event in six weeks. This time the news was mostly incremental. Here, in considerably less time than it will take you to watch the event, is what you need to know:

The new Mac OS is now available.
The new iMac has a really nice screen.
The iPad Air 2 is really skinny.
There's also a new iPad mini. It's called the iPad mini 3.
The new tablets come in gold. They also come in silver and space gray, so you can match with your iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
The new tablets can read fingerprints.
Apple Pay goes live on Monday.

Apple's big iPad event -- the highlights

OS X Yosemite review: a solid upgrade for everyone (especially iPhone users)

to make the most out of Yosemite, you need an iDevice to go with it. But even for Mac users who don't also own an iPhone (guilty!), this is still a solid upgrade.

The best new features in OS X Yosemite

iOS 8 is here! Read our complete guide to Apple's new mobile OS

Apple's new iPads are here, but one of them is not a good buy

But an iPad Mini 2.  The iPad Mini 3 is not worth the $100 premium.

Replacement cycle dilemma dogs the iPad

Buyers see little reason to replace aging tablets, putting pressure on Apple to rejuvenate the line

Here's your first look at Apple's new 5K iMac with Retina display

Apple finally updates Mac Mini desktops for better performance

SIM card in new iPads gives rise to phone-carrier speculation

Apple AAPL, +1.46%  revealed in its promotional material that it will ship the devices with a built-in cellular SIM card that will allow users to buy wireless service a la carte, on the spot.

A number of technology bloggers caught wind of the development and began speculating about a future in which phones, too, would have built-in SIM cards, freeing people from the need to chain themselves to specific carriers.

How the new Apple SIM could upend the wireless industry

Here is every watch face shown during the Apple Watch announcement

This Is The Thing That's Most Impressive About The Phone
The battery life.

Don’t Overpay, Get Third Party RAM Upgrades for the Retina iMac

The Apple Store upgrade prices for RAM are thankfully now much more reasonable than they used to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best value.

You can still upgrade the RAM in the Retina iMac, save hundreds over Apple's price

How An IT Guy Stranded In Paris Turned Himself Into The Most Powerful Source Of Apple News

Apple Pay launches Oct. 20 in a play to kill credit cards

Why Retailers Will Love the Apple Pay Era

Researchers have long found that shoppers spend more the further they get from handling actual currency.

Behavioral economists have a term for this dynamic: decoupling. The card or app or casino chip mentally separates the consumer from his bank account.

Apple patches OS X to protect against POODLE

Apple Is Likely To Miss The Next Big Thing

great innovations typically come from companies that don’t have to deal with the type of high expectations Apple has to all the time.

Now is the time to buy Google and other wearables stocks

the Wearables Revolution is going to be the next huge phase of the App Revolution and it's going to be even bigger than the smartphone market when the calendar clicks over into the 2020s.

If the smartphone market is well over a billion units per year, and if people are going to have multiple wearables for every smartphone they have, we're looking at a multi-billion unit industry. Let's give the average wearable a $99 price tag, and we're talking about a market for wearables that will climb into hundreds of billions of dollars a year in the next decade.

The 12 Best News And Reading Apps In The World

This 23-Year-Old Makes $500,000 A Year On Twitter Tweeting Out Facts

Last year, he made $500,000 for tweeting sponsored links, according to Fast Company. The links, when clicked by his followers, earn him between one and three cents a click. Multiply that by a few sponsored links a day, a couple of hundred thousand eager followers, and 365 days in the year, and you're rolling in dough.

The BBC Is Going To Maintain A List Of 'Right To Be Forgotten' Links From Google

Tide Starts to Turn Against Gamergate's Women-Hating Campaign

Backlash against the #Gamergate movement escalated several notches this week, thanks to high-profile accounts in The Washington Post and The New York Times, along with a public statement from the Entertainment Software Association.

people in the #Gamergate scene feel they are now looked upon as losers, and that doesn't feel good, so they're lashing out.

Why Teens Are Sexting — And What Parents And Police Can Do About It

Within an hour, the deputies realized just how common the sharing of nude pictures was at the school.  The boys kept telling us “It’s nothing unusual. It happens all the time.”

The FBI Director Hates Encryption Even Though The FBI Tells People To Use It

FBI Director James Comey said:
"Encryption isn't just a technical feature; it's a marketing pitch. But it will have very serious consequences for law enforcement and national security agencies at all levels. Sophisticated criminals will come to count on these means of evading detection. It's the equivalent of a closet that can't be opened. A safe that can't be cracked. And my question is, at what cost?"

He says that "encryption isn't new" in his speech, but neither are his problems with it. His allusion to criminal activity lumps in people who are just interested in protecting their privacy among criminals.

the FBI has endorsed the use of encryption in the past. In an email alert of "safety tips to protect your mobile device" in Oct. 2012, it wrote, "depending on the type of phone, the operating system may have encryption available. This can be used to protect the user's personal data in the case of loss or theft."

It looks like Apple has taken that message to heart, and the FBI director doesn't like it.

Once the FBI has a backdoor into your smartphone, everyone does

A disgruntled employee at a security firm could simply share the knowledge around a back door.

The problem with giving the government a backdoor into smartphones and other electronics is that it also opens them up to the bad guys, according to experts.

Glenn Greenwald: Why Privacy Matters

An outstanding TED talk.

Rich people, like the CEO of Google and the CEO of Facebook, publicly say that only bad people who have something to hide need any privacy.
Yet they go to great and costly lengths to secure their own privacy.

Many people have told Glenn Greenwald that they are not worried about NSA privacy invasions because they think they have nothing to hide.
Glenn always responds to that claim by saying "In that case, please give me all your passwords to all your E-mail, social media and banking accounts so I can look them over and publish anything I find.  You claim you have nothing to hide, so why not let me make it all public?"  NOBODY ever gave him the info he asked for.

People often claim in words that they don't need their privacy, but their actions often negate that claim.

Mass surveillance creates a prison in the mind that is a much more subtle, much more effective means of fostering compliance with social norms or social orthodoxy, much more effective than brute force could ever be.

A society in which people can be monitored at all times is a society that breeds conformity and obedience and submission, which is why every tyrant, from the most overt to the most subtle, craves that system.

When we allow a society to exist in which we're subject to constant monitoring, we allow the essence of human freedom to be severely crippled.

When you say somebody who's doing bad things, you probably mean bad things like plotting a terrorist attack or engaging in violent criminality, a much narrower conception than what people who wield power mean.  For them, doing bad things typically means doing something that poses meaningful challenges to exercise of their own power.

The privacy bargain:
If you're willing to render yourself sufficiently harmless, sufficiently unthreatening to those who wield political power, then and only then, can you be free of the dangers of surveillance.
It's only those who are dissidents, activists, journalists, who challenge power, who have something to worry about.

The measure of how free a society is, is not how it treats is good, obedient, compliant citizens, but how it treats its dissidents and those who resist orthodoxy.

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